The Bottom Line
- New Sturdy Roll Cage Design
- Excellent ThinkPad Keyboard
- Only 512MB Memory
- Can't Burn DVDs
- No FireWire Port
- Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 512MB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
- 80GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 24x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive
- 15.4" WXGA (1280x800) Display with Intel GMA X3100 Integrated Graphics
- v.92 56kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, One Type II PC Card Slot
- 14.1" x 10.2" x 1.5" @ 6.4 lbs.
- Windows XP Professional
Guide Review - Lenovo ThinkPad R61 Budget Laptop Computer
10/16/07 – Lenovo has done a major overhaul of their ThinkPad line of notebooks and that made it all the way down to the R series. The R61 uses the new roll cage design chassis that improves the rigidity and reduces the amount of flex. This is a great bonus to an already superbly reliable platform originally developed by IBM.
The ThinkPad R61 has a fairly powerful Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 dual core mobile processor at the heart of it. This is an excellent processor for such a low cost setup. The problem is that Lenovo has decided to ship only 512MB of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory with it. That amount works OK for limited application use with the older Windows XP Professional operating system, but it really needs at least a full gigabyte for those looking to use it more heavily.
Storage is a bit disappointing on the ThinkPad R61. The 80GB hard drive is about normal for such a low cost laptop computer system. Most notebooks come equipped standard with a dual layer DVD burner, but Lenovo has chosen to include a CD-RW/DVD combo burner instead. Sure, it can playback DVDs and burn CDs but that cuts out an important feature most consumers would like to have.
There are other minor gripes with the system design as well. For example, the system lacks a FireWire port that is useful for importing digital video from a camcorder or the use of the Type II PC card slot over the newer ExpressCard format.
Even with all of this issues, the Lenovo ThinkPad R61 still is a solid general purpose laptop computer system. With a few upgrades, it will definitely provide a low cost platform that will last for a longer time than most budget notebooks.